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Tag Archives: Christmas

Blue Christmas No More

18 Dec
yellowdog

Christmas morning with one of my favorite presents ever, ‘Yellow Dog’. Yes, that’s what I named him. Circa 1979, one stocking the Christmas before my brother was born.

Christmas is coming and if you’ve been reading my blog awhile you already know that while most are in their best mood of the year I get a little sad-ish/melancholoy during this season.Part of it is from my parents; when they immigrated here from the Philippines when I was young, they left behind all of their family and friends so I mostly remember them having a little sadness listening to Christmas music missing their extended family. Don’t get me wrong, I have MANY happy memories of Christmas as a child including always going to midnight mass followed by tons of people coming to my house to eat until dawn along with Christmas caroling and lots of joy and laughter but in the stillness sometimes with music playing in the background, I could tell my parents were missing ‘home’. Then of course there was the time I got the call from my doctor the eve of December 24th letting me know that my cancer was back for the third time. He didn’t call to ruin my Christmas, but by then he knew that I would want to know as soon as he knew, hence the call, that was back in 2009. It has been 7 years and I just noticed something the other day while I was working and listening to Christmas music in the car…joy. There have been so many changes to my life since that time and joy has crept in so slowly in the years following that I barely noticed that underlying sadness had shifted. Despite the mess in between then and now, the absolute heartache and brokenness I experienced and the more than occasional sheer chaos of my life now, there is peace and joy.

Last week I was able to enjoy an awesome vacation far away from home. It was a great time to just relax and be far from work, laundry, cooking meals, and teenagers who always seemvaca2017 to need so much(it’s all good of course). Vacation did a couple things for me, helped me relax but also made me miss home. The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.~Maya Angelou  My son just finished his first semester at college and came home a few days ago. It’s been great having him here awhile before I have to once again say good bye and let him go practice ‘adulting’ again. Like the quote says, home should be a safe place, a place where we feel loved, where we can be who we are with no judgement, where there is no fear (unless you’re talking about teenagers then yes, they should fear me…haha). Home should be that place that when you’re far away you think about and smile,that safe place where the people you love and care about the most, live or come back to; not just the location but the relationships. The people in it don’t have to be perfect, just honest, loving, and safe.  I read the best quote published from an unknown 7 year old the other day, ‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents Christmasand listen.’  Isn’t that the greatest? I am so grateful to have grown up in a loving home and to have a loving home now. By the way, family doesn’t always mean by blood, my parents didn’t have blood relatives around initially so our friends became our family. ‘Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.’~author unknown.

I pray you all have a beautiful Christmas and are surrounded by people who make you feel safe and loved and home. P.S. There are many who are alone or maybe feel alone especially in this season so keep your eyes, hearts, and hands open.Today I wear LipSense lipstick in Blu-Red which is a bright red. These are the BEST long lasting, non drying lipsticks EVER. If you’re curious you can send me a private message on the ‘contact me’ link on the side of my blog page. I chose this color because it’s the holidays and everyone should be wearing their bright red lipstick! Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

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Dear Santa

24 Dec

yellowdog
Last night I stayed awake wrapping all the presents I had for my kids, parents, and others I had bought presents for this Christmas. I am one of those very last minute shoppers because I really don’t like shopping that much, especially this time of year, so in addition to wrapping presents last night, yesterday was also when I purchased most of the presents as well. A couple things always happen to me when I wrap Christmas presents. First, I second guess what I bought because I like to try to purchase things that not only people like but also may have some type of meaning. Second, I start getting a little irritated that I bought so much junk to make sure my kids are happy. Generally speaking I buy each kids one big present, Santa gets them a present, then their stockings are filled with things like socks and candy. It’s not too bad but as they get older, their one or two presents become more and more expensive.

When I was young we didn’t have tons of money to spare, both my parents worked and sometimes my dad worked two jobs just to make sure his family had everything they needed. I never remember a time when we were without. My letters to Santa always included a request to also bring my parents something whether it was a watch, a jacket, a shirt, extra money, just anything to help them or really just to thank them for all the sacrifices they made for me. I think I wrote about this before but there was a year when I had asked for a few things like usual hoping to get one thing off my list (I liked giving Santa choices). I believe I was 9 or 10 and had asked for a red jacket, a bike, probably some toys, then something for both of my parents. I dollsremember walking downstairs Christmas morning in anticipation and seeing a large stuffed animal, a big stuffed yellow dog sitting in front of the fireplace. This was not on my list. It was the only present I got that year and you know what happened? I loved it, and even as a child, I knew it was the best my parents could do that year and I was super grateful. I named him ‘Yellow Dog’ (I know, creative) and I kept that stuffed animal for years. As I wrapped the presents last night I wondered if I was spoiling my kids and if they would be grateful if they only got one present?’Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.’~Charles Dickens,

Dear Santa,

Well, here’s my list this year:

Joy through the holidays…and forever
Peace in my home (and around my home…you know what I’m talking about); World peace would be good too by the way since you’re making your way around the world
For my kids to all get along for longer periods of time and for them to do their chores without complaining at least once a month
For my office to magically become organized
A personal chef
And of course, the perfect shade of lipstick 🙂

Thank You in advance, Anna

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Christmas Memories

21 Dec

Christmas

Christmas always brings lots of memories; some great ones, and some not so great. Growing up in Detroit, I remember my parents waking me up as a young child to attend the historic Old St Mary’s Church in Detroit to go to midnight mass. What I remember about it (since I was so young) was that it was huge and outrageously beautiful. But I also remember the pews being hard as I fell back asleep on them during mass (oops, I was REALLY young). Anyhow, traditionally, we would go back home afterward and eat until dawn. Though the church location changed when we moved to the suburbs, that tradition carried on through high school, sometimes with only my family, and sometimes with friends coming to our house. I remember moments around Christmas like ice skating around the frozen fountain at Belle Isle, the Thanksgiving Parade, and shopping at the old Hudson’s in downtown Detroit.

The two most memorable Christmas’s to me were both significant moments in my life. The first was awful, 2009. It was the morning of Christmas Eve 2009 when I was at the hospital with my three girlfriends at 6am. They came with with me to support me during my PET scan to check on suspicious activity in my neck. At this point I had and beat cancer twice already with my last surgery just the September before. They came with me to sit for the three hours it took to finish. When I came out, two were sleeping in chairs in the waiting room and I’ll never forget how grateful I was they had taken time away from their families to be with me that day. At 4:00 the same evening my doctor called and I received the devastating news that indeed the cancer was back. He said, “Merry Christmas, I’m sorry.” The other Christmas I remember was in the 4th grade, I was 8 or 9 and we had just moved to the suburbs from Detroit. At this time my parents were both working and my dad had even worked two jobs to move us to a nicer area. That Christmas I wrote Santa a long letter. I remember writing a list of things I wanted and then adding things for my hard working parents. When I came downstairs Christmas morning, nothing from my list was on the fireplace. All that was there was a large (to me it was life-sized) yellow, stuffed dog. I remember being a little disappointed that Santa hadn’t brought the presents I asked for for me and my parents, but I loved that stuffed animal. It stayed with me for years! Looking back I now realize that we didn’t have a lot of money and my parents gave me the best they had. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it.

After cancer and life’s difficulties in general, Christmas along with every day is special. We were given the gift of Jesus on Christmas Day and that is the best gift. Every moment, every memory, every breath whether Christmas or the days after is icing on the cake. Today’s lipstick is my favorite red Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in Merlot. Moisturizing, deep red. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

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